The Six (6) Steps in Facilitation

    1. Listening: an  effective  enterprise   facilitator  is  a  good  listener,  almost  like  a   ‘business  psychiatrist’.  Allowing  the   business  person  time  to  fully  articulate.  A  question  might  be  –  ‘can  you   describe  your  market  for  me?’  It  is  all   about  bringing  the  person  to  self realisation.


    1. Questioning: There  may  be  questions   that  need  to  be  asked  of  the  person  to   complete  the  picture.  For  example,  if  the   client’s  issue  is  difficulty  in  reaching  the   market


    1. Brainstorming and idea generation:  it   is  important  for  a  facilitator  to  not  limit   the  range  of  problem  solving  options   available  to  a  client.  Both  client  and   facilitator  will  have  ideas  that  could  be   tried.  There  are  ideas  and  potential   solutions  to  a  problem  that  may  have   never  occurred  to  either  you  or  the  client.   The  words  ‘what  if…’  should  be  often   heard  in  a  conversation  between  an   enterprise  facilitator  and  a  client.  ‘What  if   we  looked  at  the  market  differently?  What   if  you  targeted  a  different  segment  of  the   market?  What  if  you  changed  the  way  you   are  promoting  the  product?’


    1. Business planning: the  process  of   building  a  business  plan  is  very  useful.   Business  planning  never  stops  and  a   business  plan  is  always  ‘work-in progress’.  What  is  valuable  is  to   continuously  work  at  it,  update  it,   improve  it.  An  effective  business   facilitator  will  endeavour  to  get  the  business  enterprise  owner  to  think  about   their  business  plan  and  how  the  current   problem  fits  into  the  plan.  The  adage   ‘working  on  the  business’  not  ‘working  in   the  business’  is  relevant  here.  You  as  their   facilitator  should  help  them  do  this.  If   there  is  no  business  plan  under  way  then   you  should  endeavour  to  get  them  to  start   to  build  one.


    1. Action: he  or  she  came  to  you  to  get  a   resolve  for  their  problem.  You  have   listened,  helped  them  brainstorm  options   and  let  them  see  the  issue  in  the  context  of   their  business  plan.  Now  you  need  to  help   them  take  action.  You  will  have  other   sources  of  information,  contacts  and  networks  and  now  he  or  she  needs  a  plan   of  action.  With  your  help,  the  client  needs   to  set  out  a  series  of  steps  that  can  be   taken  to  try  to  resolve  the  problem  or   address  the  issue.


  1. Reflecting: some  time  later  you  should   contact  the  client  and  check  out  how   things  are  going.  This  would  be   reassuring  for  them  but  also  provide   valuable  feed-back  for  you  on  the  process   you  used  and  the  effectiveness  of  various   actions  taken.  It  will  help  you  improve as a  facilitator  the  issue  or  problem  without   comment  or  interruption  is  crucial.  The   whole  picture  is  important.  Once  the  story   is  told  then  the  facilitator  needs  to  go   back,  ask  questions  and  clarify  any  issues   that  are  unclear.